Saturday, 18 September 2010

October Is Coming...

Well I'm sitting here at my desk in Dreamstone Shop, Its actually a bright Saturday morning but there is a bite of autumn on the air.  The mornings seem to be getting lighter later, and the evenings darker sooner.  I've been contemplating putting on the central heating or reaching for yet another jumper...  But thoughts of autumn have lead me to thinking about what stuff to get in for October and Samhain/Hallow'een. 

I must say Samhain is my favourite festival save Yule.  (Hallow'een and Christmas to my non - Pagan Readers) The air is filled with magic that tingles.  The earlier festivals are great but none are really filled with the same excitment as these two.  Hallow'een was one of those festivals as a kid that i always wanted to take part in but my parents would never really let me.  "Trick or treating is begging, no you can't go out" my mom would always say. I would sit at the window and watch all the monsters walking past. My mom finally gave in alittle and I was allowed to dress up to answer the door when Trick or treaters came calling. 

When we moved things changed alittle. We'd moved to a nicer neighbourhood and mom and dad would let me go out. After one or two years, the novelty of it had worn off but it did lead me to thinking about what alternatives there are for people.  This neatly lead me into Paganism.

Here's alittle bit of history of Samhain
(For the full article please visit:

SAMHAIN (pronounced Sow-en), dates back to the ancient Celts who lived 2,000 years ago. Contrary to what some believe, is not a celebration of a Celtic god of the dead. Instead, it is a Celtic word meaning "summer's end." The Celts believed that summer came to an end on October 31st and the New Year began on November 1st with the start of winter. But the Celts also followed a lunar calendar and their celebrations began at sunset the night before.
Many today see Halloween as the pagan holiday. But that's not really accurate. As the pagan holiday of Samhain is on November 1st. But their celebrations did and still do, start at sunset on October 31st, on Samhain Eve. During the day on October 31st, the fires within the home are extinguished. Often families would engage in a good "fall" cleaning to clear out the old and make way for the new. Starting the winter months with fresh and clean household items.
At sunset on October 31, clans or local villages begin the formal ceremonies of Samhain by lighting a giant bonfire. The people would gather around the fire to burn crops and animals as sacrifices to the Celtic deities. It was a method of giving the Gods and Goddesses their share of the previous years herd or crops. In addition these sacred fires were a big part of the cleansing of the old year and a method to prepare for the coming new year.
During the celebration, the Celts wore costumes, and danced around the bonfire. Many of these dances told stories or played out the cycles of life and death or commemorated the cycle of Wheel of Life. These costumes were adorned for three primary reasons.

So after finding this out i thought about how i could include this into my own life.  I wasn't really part of a tribe, save me and my parents, nor did we keep any livestock or crops.  So how could someone that wasn't really that connected to the land could celebrate. 

Well i'd recently bought a book called  "A Real Witches Kitchen" by Kate West.  It look like just the thing I'd been looking for, and it was.  This book not only contained a cookery book (as I love to cook and bake) but it also included ideas for celebrating the 8 festivals of the year.  It told me about seasonal foods that would be around at that point in the year, and how they would be traditionally cooked, it also had a list of drinks (alcoholic and otherwise) but on a practical (magickal) note it also contains recipes for incenses, potions and creams for those wanting to make their own magick whether it be in the form of a 100% natural moisturiser or whether it was and incense of divination. it was a very helpful book and still a book i lean on and turn to all year round. (I'd recomend it to anyone) So this leads me back to my original train of thought...

Now that i have my own pagan shop and I can get in what ever stuff I want, What do I get in?  Would people like to go for the typical gore and guts that they normally buy or would they prefer something alittle bit traditional? we're going to have pumpkins in which i guess isn't that traditional but still, its what most people think of.  I've got a few incenses and herbs and things too that should be good,  but is the october 31 -november 1st market so clogged up with the gore and guts stuff that the traditional looks naff? (Replies on a postcard.) well here's to the thinking, and if anyone has any ideas I'm open to suggestions! (just email me on our website)

This is Gemz signing off! Ciao!